Do You Play to Win or Are Style Points More Important?
This past weekend while doing my thing – watching college football games (SEC games, too) I had one of those ah ha moments. And, in this case, it was about how you win.
It seems my favorite team is winning all their games, yet, they are not running up scores or running away from the other teams. They are just winning. And, it seems a large number of their fan base is up in arms because they are not winning with huge score differentials. Yet, they are playing tough and are winning the games no matter where they are played.
As I thought about this situation, winning their games with disgruntled fans. I began to think about companies that are winning the earnings battles every quarter and hitting their numbers – yet are not blowing away the competition in the process. Sound familiar? Only this time it is the talking heads of the business news programs who are trashing the companies and their managements with all sorts of personal opinions about their ability to perform at high levels.
It is almost like the sports talking heads and the business news talking heads get together and decide who they want to trash during their sessions and then see what happens. It appears their mission is to stir up trouble for the organizations – sports and business – to see how others will response or react.
In the sports arena, the fans and the pollsters get together and talk about things that in some cases they know nothing about – but they heard it from a “reputable” source. My personal opinion is some of these reputable sources really don’t know what they are talking about! Some do, and they usually explain their position in a very logical fashion – while missing a very important point – the team or organization is winning their games! Hello! Are you really keeping score?
Style points are cute and give others something to talk about – except in some cases it has nothing to do with the will of character. To me, I learned that character and the will to win are the backbone of high performance. My grandfather who was a very successful and humble man was a big time winner. He did things that others could not figure out how he did it – but he did and on a regular basis. He taught me that the will to win is a personal driver. He shared that being flashy or having a big ego did not relate to being a real winner.
My question to you? Do you and your organization play to win or to show for some external group? Real winners know what they want to accomplish, set their goals and objectives and move to execute on these things in a consistent and meaningful way. No show boating, no style points, only focused attention on getting the real things done.
Finally, beware of the talking heads, for they are in the game for show rather than reality. Focus on the target and resist the temptation to be distracted by these people. They are not accountable or responsible for any real performance.